Until my sister and I left for college, our family’s primary vehicle was always a van. The first was a mid-90s Toyota LiteAce, followed by a diesel Mercedes-Benz MB100, then a 2002 Honda Odyssey after we moved to the United States. Our family of five have taken countless road trips and made many memories on the road with our vans thanks to their ability to swallow people and all of our gear.
So while I understand the appeal of minivans to families, I couldn’t imagine buying and owning one. It is up to YOUR Editor-in-chief Ron Kiino gave me the keys to our long-range Kia Sedona because he saw that it would be a great choice for a photographer. A minivan – or, as Kia sometimes calls it, a versatile vehicle – wouldn’t be my first (third, fourth, eleventh) choice for a vehicle, but if I had to drive one, it would be the Kia Sedona wins a big test.
As a personal photographer for Motor trendI often take long road trips around the state while carrying a lot of gear and an assistant or two. YOUR photographers also hang half of our body from the windows / trunks / sunroofs of a moving car for action shots, and based on past experiences, minivans have been the perfect rolling platform for these cases. In many ways, a van is the perfect photo support vehicle.
We opted for the SX, a step below the full Limited model, because of its better second row versatility and gas mileage (18/25 city / highway vs. 17/22 for the Limited). It goes without the power dual sunroofs and non-removable airline-inspired first-class captain’s seats with plush headrests and folding footrests, but it still comes with a host of useful features. The SX trim gives you three-zone automatic climate control, an Infiniti audio system, Kia’s easy-to-use UVO infotainment system with navigation and rear view camera, Bluetooth connectivity, heated and cooled front seats for those hot days in the city. Southern California, a second row slide -N-Stow seats and a 115-volt inverter. We’ve also checked the box for the $ 3,700 tech pack that adds lane departure warning, forward collision warning, front / rear parking aid, panoramic (bird’s-eye) monitor, and adaptive cruise control. I played around with the cruise control a bit on my rides, and it seems to work pretty well. It accelerates / decelerates smoothly with traffic without the jerks of lesser systems I’ve experienced. It should be a useful tool for my many future road trips.
All Sedonas come with Kia’s well-known 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. That’s good for a 7.9 second run at 60 mph and a 16.1 second quarter mile with a trap time at 89.2 mph. Not very fast, but it’s a 4,764-pound van, after all, and it connects the Honda Odyssey and Grand Caravan at 60. I’ve been driving it for a few weeks now, and it never feels underpowered during my days. daily trips. But speed isn’t where this minivan shines, I mean a versatile vehicle. It behaves well enough for its size and even shows signs of, dare I say, sportiness. Its well-damped suspension rolls smoothly and silently, even over big bumps and huge potholes in Los Angeles, without feeling like a big floating boat. Stacking miles should be a snap in the Sedona.
Even with a state-of-the-art infotainment system and interior build quality, the Sedona does have some drawbacks. The second and third row seats do not fold completely flat. The second row simply hinges up and rests on the front seats instead of folding flat into the floor. The seats are also heavy and difficult to remove if you absolutely need the extra space. The third row isn’t as wide and roomy as the competition, and headroom suffers from optional dual-control sunroofs. Also, the 60/40 split third row doesn’t fold up as easily as the competition, and the tub it fits in isn’t as wide. No integrated vacuum cleaner either.
Despite its few drawbacks, I expect our Sedona to experience countless road trips, photo ops, and camping trips while staying with us. In fact, it’s already becoming very popular with staff with constant requests to borrow it for weekend trips and filming. So far I have only received compliments from other staff for its excellent drive and surprisingly well appointed interior. Kia’s versatile vehicle will be a very useful addition to our fleet over the long term. Stay tuned to see how many miles we can rack up until our next update.
This seems good! More details?
|2016 Kia Sedona SX|
|STARTING PRICE||$ 37,295|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$ 42,090|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front engine, front-wheel drive, 8-pass, 4-door van|
|MOTOR||276 hp / 248 lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V6|
|SIGHT WEIGHT (DIST F / R)||4,655 lbs (56/44%)|
|Length x Width x Height||201.4 x 78.1 x 69.1 inches|
|0-60 MPH||7.8 seconds|
|QUARTER MILE||16.0 s at 89.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||118 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.80 g (average)|
|MT NUMBER EIGHT||28.4 s at 0.57 g (average)|
|EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON||18/25/21 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / HIGHWAY||187/135 kWh / 100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.94 lbs / mile|